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                        Vol.3, No.24 [*]  April 27, 1998

              Don't throw away the old bucket until you know
                      whether the new one holds water.
                             - Swedish Proverb

   The Assam Cabinet on April 25 decide to start the construction of the
   permanent  complex  of  the  State's  capital at Dispur very soon and
   approved  the  Rs.600-million  plan  for  the  first  phase  of   the
   constructions.  The Centre has already granted Rs.600 million for the
   purpose.   Sources said, the entire project will cost Rs.18.3 billion
   which will be released by the Centre in phases.  It is expected  that
   the  foundation  work  of  the  Secretariat building could be started
   latest by September, 1998.
   For the construction of the  Secretariat  building,  200  Assam  type
   quarters in  the  existing  Dispur  complex  will be demolished.  The
   families occupying these quarters would be accommodated  in  HOUSEFED
   complex.   The government has already allotted 500 `bigha' to GMDA to
   construct a  full-fledged  residential  township  at  Hengerabari  by
   constructing 3,700 quarters for the officers and the employees of the
   Assembly secretariat.    The  Chief  Minister said the Government has
   also proposed to construct two fly-overs at Ganeshguri  Chariali  and
   Ulubari and widen all existing roads in Dispur and Hengerabari area.

   The  Assam  Government has decided to pay its employees in accordance
   with the latest pay structures for Central  Government  employees  by
   the Central  Pay Commission.  The new revision, which is sought to be
   effected with retrospective effect from January 1, 1996 will cover 30
   existing pay-scales and executive staff of the State  Government  are
   not going to benefit by the decision.
   The Government decision which was taken in a Cabinet meeting on April
   26,  seeks  to  cover  pay-scales  between  Rs.900-Rs.1,435  (revised
   Rs.2,450-Rs.3,670)   per   month   and   Rs.4,200-Rs.6,300   (revised
   Rs.11,025-Rs.17,000) per month.  The ratio of the minimum and maximum
   stands on 1:6.93.  The Government had to bear an additional burden of
   Rs.7  billion  annually  taking  the  total  amount of expenditure on
   employees salary to Rs.35.8 billion annually.

3  PDF WITHDRAWS SUPPORT TO AGP-LED GOVT                   [S:27-APR-98]
   The  Peoples  Democratic Front of Bodoland (PDF) withdrew its support
   to the AGP-led coalition government in the State.   Disclosing  this,
   the  newly-elected  party  president  Garla Batha Basumatary said the
   decision was taken at the party convention held at  Changlimara  near
   Chariduar in Sonitpur district on April 25 and 26.  The withdrawal of
   support  from  the  AGP Government was taken since the government had
   failed to solve the problems of the State in  general  and  Bodos  in
   particular, Basumatary said.

   Union Minister Kabindra Purkaystha said  that  the  BJP  Government's
   plan to create a separate ministry for the Northeast has been shelved
   for   the  time  being  owing  to  certain  financial  and  political
   constraints.  Speaking to presspersons at Silchar  on  April  26,  Mr
   Purkaystha  said  that the BJP-led coalition Government at the Centre
   was committed towards speeding up  the  development  process  in  the
   region  but  at  the same time the Government would prefer to examine
   the issues from all direction rather than going for haste action.

   The Assam Government has brought back 12 detenues from  Jodhpur  jail
   sent there in two batches in December and January last year under the
   National Security  Act  (NSA).  The detenues were brought to Guwahati
   by the Brahmaputra Mail on April 25 and  sent  to  Guwahati  district
   jail.  Of the 24 detenues, five were brought back earlier while seven
   were released in Jodhpur itself as their NSA terms had ended.
   The Gauhati High Court on April 24 had granted ten more days  to  the
   Assam Government to bring back the detenues following a writ petition
   filed by the State Government pleading for 15 days more to bring back
   the detenues.    Earlier,  Justice  J.N.Sharma,  after hearing a writ
   petition, filed  by  human  rights  activist  and  advocate,  Santanu
   Bharali,  pleading  for the return of the detenues as they were being
   denied legal aid, passed an order on March  27  directing  the  State
   Government to bring back the detenues within 25 days.

   Dibrugarh,  which  was  declared  a  `C'  class  city in 1978 (Jorhat
   attained this status in 1994), will shortly be further upgraded,  and
   a  municipal corporation will be constituted for this city along with
   one for Silchar, possibly in the coming weeks.  This was disclosed by
   the Dibrugarh Municipal Board chairman, Dr Ramani Ranjan Baruah.   He
   said  the  municipal  body  has  received a letter from the Municipal
   Administration Department, asking  for  some  clarifications  on  the
   matter.   The matter of upgrading the municipal body in Dibrugarh has
   been kept pending by the Assam Government since 1991.

7  AIDEO HANDIQUE HONOURED                                 [S:27-APR-98]
   The  first  Assamese  film  actress  Aideo Handique, who acted in the
   first Assamese film  `Joymoti,'  was  awarded the Esteem  '98  award.
   The award consists of one trophy, a citation and a cash of Rs.50,000.
   The award was given Gyanada  Kakoti  at  a  meeting  at  Panidihingia
   village in Golaghat on April 26.

8  NISHANTA TO PLAY IN ENGLAND AGAIN                      [AT:25-APR-98]
   Nishanta Bordoloi of Assam has been invited to England by Marlborough
   Cricket Club to play as their overseas player for the season of 1998.
   Nishanta  who  has  already  played  in  the  Wiltshire League as the
   overseas player for Westing House Cricket Club for  two  seasons  has
   signed  up  for  Marlborough. Nishanta is due to leave for England on
   May 20.

Compiled from newspaper and agency reports for private circulation only.
      [S=Sentinel, AT=Assam Tribune, Agencies = UNI, PTI, PIB]